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About Dr. Steve Parcell

Stephen W. Parcell, N.D. is a licensed naturopathic physician. He earned his naturopathic medical degree from Bastyr University in 2002.  Bastyr is regarded as the top Naturopathic Medical School in the U.S., consistently turning out graduates with the highest board exam scores.  Dr. Parcell completed his premedical studies at the University of Vermont in 1997.  He has completed additional training at the American Academy for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) and is certified in chelation therapy.

Dr. Parcell has a strong background in medical research and is an expert in “evidence-based natural medicine” as well as traditional naturopathic medicine. Dr. Parcell has worked at the American Institute for Biosocial and Medical Research as a consultant for the nutritional supplement industry and has co- authored National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant proposals for Bastyr University.  He has published articles in Alternative Medicine Review and the International Journal of Integrative Medicine.  Dr. Parcell is currently completing his residency at Frontier Medical Institute under the supervision of Terry Grossman, M.D.

What is Naturopathic Medicine?
A licensed naturopathic physician (N.D.) attends a four-year graduate level naturopathic medical school and is educated in all of the same basic sciences as an M.D., and also studies holistic and nontoxic approaches to therapy -- with a strong emphasis on disease prevention and optimizing wellness.  In addition to a standard medical curriculum, naturopathic physicians complete four years of training in clinical nutrition, Eastern medicine (Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda), homeopathic medicine, botanical medicine, psychology, and counseling -- to encourage people to make lifestyle changes in support of their personal health.  A naturopathic physician takes rigorous professional board exams so that he or she may be licensed by a state or jurisdiction as a primary care general practice physician.

Naturopathic medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care ... emphasizing prevention, treatment, and the promotion of health through the use of holistic therapeutic methods and modalities.  These encourage the self-healing process, (the “vis medicatrix naturae”).  It is a small profession with approximately 2,500 licensed providers in the US and Canada.

The history of naturopathic medicine in North America goes back over 100 years.  Naturopathy, which combined nature cure with homeopathy, massage, spinal manipulation, and therapeutic electricity, was developed in America largely through the work of Benedict Lust (pronounced loost; 1872-1945).

The philosophical approach of naturopathic medicine includes prevention of disease, encouragement of the body's inherent healing abilities, natural treatment of the whole person, personal responsibility for one's health, and education of patients in health-promoting lifestyles.  Naturopathic practice blends centuries-old knowledge of natural, nontoxic therapies with current advances in the understanding of health and human systems.  The scope of naturopathic practice includes all aspects of family and primary care, from pediatrics to geriatrics, and all natural medicine modalities.

Although the language is somewhat dated, the U.S. Department of Labor definition is still accurate. They state that the naturopathic physician is one who:

"Diagnoses, treats, and cares for patients, using a system of practice that bases its treatment of all physiological functions and abnormal conditions on natural laws governing the body, utilizes physiological, psychological and mechanical methods, such as air, water, heat, earth, phytotherapy (treatment by use of plants), electrotherapy, physiotherapy, minor or orificial surgery, mechanotherapy, naturopathic corrections and manipulation, and all natural methods or modalities, together with natural medicines, natural processed foods, herbs, and natural remedies. Excludes major surgery, therapeutic use of x-ray and radium, and use of drugs, except those assimilable substances containing elements or compounds which are compounds of body tissues and are physiologically compatible to body processes for maintenance of life."

What is a visit to Dr. Parcell like?
Dr. Parcell uses physical examination, medical history, and laboratory tests just like a regular doctor to develop a profile for his patients.  Nutritional status, metabolic function, and toxic load are often also used to help find the cause of a patient's complaint.  Assessment is also made of mental, emotional, social, and spiritual status.  Non-invasive therapies such as lifestyle and behavior modification, and dietary counseling are a routine part of the treatment plan.  Other therapies used may include spinal manipulation, therapeutic and clinical nutrition, botanical medicine, detoxification, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, homeopathy, and psychological counseling.  A new patient visit takes about one-and-a-half hours.

What conditions can a Naturopath treat?
All conditions other than acute emergencies.  Naturopaths do not treat cancer without simultaneous consultation with an oncologist or conventional MD.

Dr. Parcell can be contacted at 303.233.4247 or


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